Monday, November 24, 2008

The great eruption

Our apologies if you thought we were going to blog about the latest volcanic disturbances in Indonesia or John McCain's temper flaring someplace.

This is all about teeth: One tooth, to be exact. Yesterday, at about 8:30 pm if you want specifics, Mum rang Pa at the office in high excitement. For most of the afternoon, she had been bedevilled by an especially troublesome Sonny, who was acting extra-needy and getting teary at the slightest provocation. But then he got hold of Mum's finger and began his usual gumming operations. And Mum realised that something rather sharp was gnawing away. She yanked open the little fella's month, and there it was.

A tooth.

Well, the tip of a tooth (lower jaw if anyone is keeping track). No celestial music began to play, no dramatic visions of Sonny growing up and gobbling steaks flashed across Mum's mind. But she was still tickled enough to dial Pa's office line. Just one more milestone, with many more to go. But as far as teeth go, that's probably the end of the programe for some years, until we reach the 'first milk tooth to fall out' item, to be followed in quick succession by the 'first adult tooth to erupt' number.

We've mused before on the artificiality of some of child-rearing milestones (Click for that post). After all, Sonny looks the same today as he ever did. At the infant care centre, when Pa made a quick second visit this morning with a just-bought pack of cereal, the little fella sped a couple of quickly flashing-by metres to say hello, which might qualify as 'First crawled greeting' if anyone was keeping count. But that's the thing, isn't it: We can generate as many or as few of these 'significant occasions' as we like, but we they don't necessarily amount to much, except as another tired reminder that Time and Tide stop for no man and all jazz.

Then again, there's the occasional unexpected benefit: We were reminded yesterday evening that we've not been taking nearly as many photographs as perhaps we ought to. A case could be made for taking more snaps rather than too few, since you can always weed out the stuff you don't want, but you can't really hop into a time machine to get "a few extra from the first year".

So there you go, the same thought might apply with our store of milestones. If they prove to be useful pause-points to question ourselves as to whether we're missing out anything that we oughtn't, it seems harmless enough to indulge in a few extra.